Why we need to #GetComfortable talking about Feminine Health

Men, look away now, nothing to see here. We’re going to talk about feminine intimate health.

I’m a Pushmepullyou mum. I have two children. One was pulled into the world via an emergency caesarian and the other was pushed out resulting in a third degree tear. So I’ve been opened and closed more times than Tower Bridge. There are at least 10 male doctors who know me more ‘intimately’ than the hubster.

For a good few years after their births I was fearless and un-embarrassable when it came to my body parts. So many of my conversations with friends were about bodily functions or mishaps, that I could have been mistaken for someone with a bit of a fetish.

But things have changed. No one wants to hear about my pelvic floor anymore. I’m not lamenting that, but it does perhaps explain why the old embarrassments have returned.

You may think that because I expose myself metaphorically on social media and tell personal stories on the blog, that I’m comfortable with subjects like this, but I’m not.

So when Canesten asked if I would help them with a campaign about feminine hygiene and health I had to think about it long and hard.

I do want to address feminine health for two reasons: Firstly, obviously we need to take care of our health and secondly, being able to discuss feminine health has a mental wellbeing impact too.

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If you were brought up in a house where your vagina was called by any other name – in our house it was a noony – you might have grown up cringing every time someone said the V word. I know I do. Hearing it causes me to shift around in my seat.

Why we need to Get Comfortable talking about feminine health

I’ve been trying to identify why that is, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason some of us are unable to discuss what’s under the bonnet, is down to shame.

You may know from my Instagram posts that I’m a big fan of Brené Brown. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, check out one of her TED Talks here.

Brown talks about shame a lot. It comes in many forms and can rear its ugly head during a variety of scenarios. Shame feeds on secrecy, silence and judgement. If we keep our intimate health problems secret, refuse to discuss them or sit in judgement, shame will breed and grow.

There is a body of research suggesting a direct correlation between shame and depression, addiction and eating disorders. So if we’re ashamed about our bodies, how is this holding us back or affecting our mental health in other ways?

Xanax (Alprazolam) acts fast, eradicates anxiety at the root and also helps to sleep soundly. I don’t have any problems with drowsiness or lethargy even though I’m already on 4 mg doses. Thank you kindly, XanaxCost.com! The only drawback I see is the building dependence – there is hardly a day that I don’t take a dose of 1 or 2 mg before 3:00 p.m.

If we can feel more comfortable with our bodies, we are more likely to reach our full potential. Canesten is encouraging more open discussion about female intimate health on Twitter, using the hashtag #GetComfortable.

Why we need to Get Comfortable talking about feminine health

Thrush, Bacterial Vaginosis and Cystitis are nothing to be ashamed of. They are all biological conditions caused by bacteria, a pH imbalance or irritation. Vaginal Dryness is caused by an hormonal imbalance. If these were affecting your skin, feet or throat, you’d discuss the symptoms with your nearest and dearest and then seek the advice of a doctor.

If we all educate ourselves about feminine health, we can prevent them occurring in the first place and save ourselves that embarrassing GP appointment.

That’s where Canesten comes in. Their new website has information to help you diagnose your condition and find the appropriate treatment.

I realise a blog post from me isn’t going to change your attitude to your body and you’re not suddenly going to start peppering your conversations with the word vagina. But please check out the #GetComfortable campaign and educate yourself about feminine health.

Do you find feminine health a difficult topic to discuss, or is it just me?

Canesten offered a £50 John Lewis shopping voucher to one lucky Lifestyle Maven reader who answered this question: What are your best tips for not feeling embarrassed to discuss your intimate health?

The winner was announced on 24 December. Congratulations Emily!

[This post has been supported by Canesten, but all opinions are my own.]

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Why we need to Get Comfortable talking about feminine health